This annual day to raise public awareness about blindness and vision impairment issues is coming October 8. Learn more about this global initiative and how you can protect your sight.
Did you know that around the world, about 2.2 billion people are visually impaired or blind? And that 80% of blindness is preventable, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)?
Here are some other astounding stats that you might not know, reported by WHO and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB):
- 2.6 million people have myopia (nearsightedness), including 312 million children.
- 1 billion people have a moderate to severe vision impairment or blindness due to refractive errors (these include farsightedness, nearsightedness, and astigmatism), but don’t have vision correction to help them see better.
- 90% of people with vision issues live in developing nations.
- Most people with vision impairment are older than 50 years of age.
World Sight Day, held each year on the second Thursday of October, seeks to draw attention to these issues surrounding blindness and visual impairment, and to educate people about preventable blindness.
What You Can Do
Take Care of Your Eyes
One of the most important things you can do? Take care of your own eye health. Most blindness is avoidable, especially with proper eye care.
- Get a routine eye exam every year. Eye exams aren’t just for glasses and contacts. Your eye doctor can detect any developing or potential eye and other health conditions during your annual exam.
- If your doctor diagnoses an issue that could lead to blindness, follow your doctor’s recommendations to get it taken care of. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, cataracts, and glaucoma.
- Eat healthfully, including lots of leafy greens, a variety of other vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats (like salmon, olive oil and nuts). Limit your intake of processed foods.
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy blood pressure and prevent glaucoma.
- Know your family health and vision history and discuss it with your eye doctor. Some eye diseases and vision problems are hereditary.
- Wear sunglasses and other protective eyewear.
Raise Awareness of World Sight Day
Use your social media channels to help everyone learn about World Sight Day, and use the official hashtags #HopeInSight and #WSD2020.